Zizi - Queering the Dataset: Jake Elwes

7 July - 14 August 2021 London

The Gazell.io Project Space will be taken-over by multimedia artist Jake Elwes throughout July. Elwes will bring his Artificial Intelligence project ‘Zizi - Queering the Dataset’ to the recently launched digital art space on Dover Street. The ongoing project, which started in 2019, explores the intersection of Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) and drag performance. While Drag challenges gender and delves into the concept of otherness, A.I. is often mystified as a tool which perpetuates social bias. Elwes’ evolving project intends to celebrate individuality and encourage its audiences to reflect on the biases that exist within our data driven society.

Originally commissioned by The University of Edinburgh in 2019 for Experiential AI at Edinburgh Futures Institute and Inspace, ‘Zizi - Queering the Dataset’ sets out to tackle the lack of representation and diversity in the training datasets often used by facial recognition systems. Elwes’ site specific video installation was created by disrupting these systems and re-training them with the addition of drag and gender fluid faces found online. This causes the weights inside the neural network to shift away from the normative identities it was originally trained on and into a space of queerness. ‘Zizi’ provides insight into the machine learning system and reveals what has not yet been learnt. LED screens installed in the Gazell.io Project Space will feature a procession drag artists’ faces in constant flux, morphing gender and sexuality; melding the real and the artificial.

Elwes will present a performance piece during his residency, more information to follow on Gazelli Art House’s Instagram page @GazelliArtHouse.


Private View: Tuesday, 6th July, 6-8pm (BST)

On View: 7th July - 14th August, 2021